CLIO Sports this week featured a blog post that included 12 tips for winning, straight from the competition’s jurors. And while CLIO Sports is focused on the best in sports media marketing and advertising, the tips included in the post are pretty universal, offering great advice, whether you’re prepping for next year’s CLIO Sports, or you’re looking to enter the upcoming CLIO Key Art Awards.
Here are the most useful, most universal pieces of advice jurors recommend to stand out from the crowd — along with a little Brave Dog insight. Read the original CLIO Sports tip post right here.
1. Check the ‘Other’ box
CLIO Sports jurors say a good way to immediately differentiate yourself is to go with the “Other” category when describing an entry — because judges are most interested in new ideas that are outside of the norm. That’s good advice to apply to marketing thinking in general: The best way to be competitive for awards is to focus on entering things that are unique, exciting, or just plain weird. That especially strange entry you think might be too out-of-the-ordinary to do well in a competition is actually often a great fit, because it’s already apart from the usual crowd.
2. Go for the bold
Riffing on No. 1, jurors suggest that it’s the exciting, risky ideas that strike them most. Just as you want to immediately differentiate yourself from the competition, judges appreciate the execution of a unique vision, even if it means taking a big risk to do so. We’ll often see awesome promos or key art discounted from competitions for being too edgy our out-there — but those entries that took some bravery to make usually perform the best. Be proud of your ideas!
3. Declutter the message
Simple, clear entries are often the most effective: They’re to the point and get there quickly. Judges will almost always have hundreds of entries to sift through, and they’re only human — entries that confuse or waste their time are more likely to get passed over.
4. Always put the fans first
While directed at sports marketing that needs to get into the mindset of fans, this one applies broadly in all competitions. CLIO Sports jurors note that what’s important about creating a connection to your audience is telling a story and reaching out emotionally, no matter what an entry is for or about. Judges are an audience just like anyone else, and like anyone else, they want promos that go beyond the norm to reach them as people. Keep that in mind both which items you choose to enter, and how you create your entries. Tell the story of how you created your work. Don’t be afraid to mention real challenges you overcame to come away with the best work possible. Judges appreciate authenticity, and an entry that tells a story is always more interesting than one that doesn’t.
5. Friendly competition fuels change
Try to put your best work forward whenever possible, but don’t miss the opportunity to see, appreciate and understand the great work others are doing as well. A little friendly competition with others in your field is a great way to push everyone to elevate their game, and it’s okay to learn lessons from the successes of others.
Your next deadline for the CLIO Key Art Awards is July 15. Keep these tips in mind, and remember: if you need help, get in touch! Brave Dog is always standing by to help you take home a CLIO!